Naming An Executor In Your Will – Part I

estate planning lawyerThe executor of a will is the person who is in charge of handling your funeral arrangements, paying the bills which accrued prior to your death or related to your funeral, gathering your assets, filing tax returns when appropriate, and seeing to it your assets are distributed to the appropriate beneficiaries pursuant to the terms of your will. So who should you name as your executor? If you are married and your wife or husband is competent and dies after you, they would be the logical person to name. If you have children, you can name one or more of your children as alternate executors in the event your spouse should predecease you or perish with you in a common disaster. If you don’t have a spouse or children, you can name a brother, sister, friend, loved one, attorney, accountant, priest, rabbi, minister or any other person you believe to be of high moral caliber and would carry out the duties as your executor. Banks and trust companies can also, under certain circumstances, be named as either the executor of your will or the trustee of a trust.

Attorney For The Executor

The most important thing the executor does in most estate circumstances is hire an experienced, available attorney to act as the attorney for the executor. The attorney for the executor, guides the executor through each and every aspect of his or her duties and sees to it that all aspects of handling the estate are properly undertaken and accomplished.

If You Don’t Have A Will Or You Don’t Appoint An Executor

If you do not name an executor in your will, one will be appointed by the Surrogate’s Court. If you don’t have a will, individuals in your stream of inheritance under New York State law can apply to the court to be named as the administrator of your estate. One point regarding an executor is, you should name someone who is willing to serve. In the event your executor declines to serve or is unable to act in that capacity, it is important your will names an alternate executor.wills and trusts attorney